The first class of the year was like a party, with 14 players, a chocolate cake, chocolate crackles and a reel. We learned The Scholar, and a slow and medium version are now in the slow tunes sidebar on this blog.
To keep intermediate players challenged and to welcome new players into the class, there is a little bit more structure to this year's classes. Only a little bit. This is how the month will look:
Week One: New tune. Everybody learns a tune together, as usual, slowly by ear with lots of relaxing repetition to get it nice and solid.
Week Two: Tunes from the Vault. We have a look through the archives of tunes classes past, and choose a couple of tunes to get to know better. If possible I will post the likely tunes on the blog beforehand so you can revise if you would like to, and we'll work on ornamentation, groove, tempo and style. There will be a second teacher on Tunes from the Vault night, to introduce new players to at least one of the tunes in question, so we all build up the same repertoire.
Week Three: New Tune. Just like week one but a different tune.
Week Four: Ceili Practice. With two teachers again, the intermediate group will play through sets of tunes and put new sets together for the Maleny Ceili Band. Everyone is welcome to be in the band, and we plan to play for some dances this year for extra fun. We'll be working on playing the tunes at the speed required for dancing, and new players will learn at least one of the ceili tunes with the second teacher, so they can work towards playing at dances.
Some months have a week five. This is a bit of a wild card, and we'll decide what we'll do with that when one turns up!
I have invited a number of terrific players from around the Range to be the extra teachers.
On Wednesday 9 Feb, we will unearth The Ash Plant (reel in Em) and Lannigan's Ball (jig in Em) from the Vault, as they've been requested.
And here is the recipe for Chocolate Crackles without copha (much nicer):
About 60g butter and 4 tablespoons of golden syrup, cooked up together til it bubbles for about 5 minutes.
Two or three cups of rice bubbles with a couple of tablespoons of cocoa mixed through. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ones, fold, and add more dry ones if needed to get a nice consistency. Quickly spoon the mixture into patty pans and let it set. It might set before you've finished if you don't work fast! Enjoy this yummy gluten-free snack!